Dnipro Kids Update – February 2022


My apologies for the delay in getting the latest update out. With things the way they are in Ukraine just now it has shifted the focus a bit, and it has taken a bit longer to process the photos and get the reports done.The word from Ukraine is that the current political situation, and the threat of a Russian invasion, has a lot of people in Ukraine worried. Life is carrying on as normal, but it is still obviously a worry. Last week in Dnipro parents received a letter from the schools, telling them to ensure that all children should have a card in their school bags that details down parents names and addresses and all the contact numbers for parents and close relatives. It seems like it was just precautionary, but still a bit of a worry when parents receive such a request.January Christmas EventWe weren’t able to do a proper Christmas event last year because of the Covid restrictions, so everyone was very excited when restrictions eased enough for us to book the Stargorod restaurant for this years event.The Stargorod restaurant is an excellent venue for a Christmas event, and the manager and staff have always gone above and beyond to make this a special day for the orphanage kids. The manager keeps the main hall private for this event, and helps to organise entertainers and games for the children while they are there. The chef and the kitchen staff even take time out from their busy schedule to show some of the older kids the workings of the kitchens, should they be thinking about a career in catering.Normally we would give each child a box of sweets at the event, but this year we decided to go that little bit further and give them proper Christmas presents. 2021 had been another tough year for everyone, and restrictions meant that we weren’t able to do our usual Autumn trip for the kids. Because we felt they may need a bit of a Christmas lift, and also due to the success of the Just Giving Fundraiser we did in December, we decided to provide more funding for Christmas gifts.Natalie was tasked with contacting the orphanage parents to find out what sort of things the kids might like from Santa (or Father Frost as he is known in Ukraine) and she was able to put together a shopping list .. which kept her quite busy in December. Fitness watches, backpacks, remote controlled cars and helicopters, dolls, hooded bath robes, jigsaws, hair straighteners, sweatshirts, bracelets, headphones, Lego, perfume .. the list seemed endless, and by the end of December her apartment looked like the storage area of an Argos shop!Due to the amount of presents, and the logistical nightmare of trying to bring them all to one event, Natalie made a few trips out to the orphanages in the days before the Stargorod event to hand out gifts to some of the children .. ably assisted by her little helpers (or daughters as they are better known). Here are some of the photos from her visits.   Unfortunately a couple of the orphanages are in areas on the edge of the city, so proved too difficult to get to before the Christmas event. You’ll see some of the photos of the kids getting their gifts in the photos from Stargorod below.And onto the main Christmas event at the Stargorod restaurant …The manager at Stargorod had set aside the main hall for us as a private event, and created a couple of nice decorated areas for photographs and a decorated stage for entertainment.As each of the groups arrived they were welcomed in by Santa, his snow maidens and Olaf the snowman.  Santa and his maidens kept the kids occupied with songs and games while they waited for their meals to be served .. The kitchen staff prepared some delicious meals for everyone …  And as always .. the kids love a nice bit of Napoleon cake for dessert!The kids that were still to get their Christmas gifts received them at the end of their meals. Here are some of the photos ..       Time for a few more games, and some selfies, before heading home with some great memories. A huge thank you to everyone that helped make this event possible, to everyone that kindly donated to the Just Giving Fundraiser, and to all our sponsors that continue to support us with their monthly donations.

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If you don’t make a monthly donation but would still like to contribute towards our fundraising efforts, please visit our JustGiving donation page.Many thanks,Steven Carr.